We were up to our ears in deer last week. My dad sent me a cooler full of his latest hunt for valentines day (there has to be a reason right? Butchering is expensive.) Thanks dad! The kids love everything deer simply because it is from Papa. I was very creative and we ate well all week. I just prepared it in regular beef recipes and have found it really pleasant. I thought I would share some of my ideas on "gaminess."
First off, I have had free range meat in the variety of chicken, beef, fish and eggs (not exactly meat, but close). In these experiences I have found a hint of difference in the flavor (seaweed like). Yep, ALL of them have the same underlying difference in taste and guess what? That taste comes from omega 3's which has come to be known as a supplement nowadays. With the way meat is raised on most farms presently, the end product is basically protein and saturated fat, our taste buds are not used to the flavor of omega 3's found in free range and wild animal products.
Secondly, freshness is key. You know how fish gets a fishiness when it is old, has freezer burn or otherwise poorly handled? Same goes here, game gets a gaminess. I am a BIG fan of the vacuum seal and a good deep freeze. Another hint is going beyond salt and pepper to season the dish or soak it in a good marinade (by good, I mean homemade.) Another technique for moist, flavorful meat is under cooking. If you cook it until it is done, the carry over cooking time makes it overdone. So cook until slightly pink and it will end up perfect.
This is the extent of my trials:
Burgers--sauteed onions, and peppers mixed some in with the ground meat and used the rest on top along with guacamole, toasted homemade buns, cheese and lettuce. The grind of the meat was a bit fine so the texture was mushier than a typical burger. Of all the ways to process deer, I have found ground to be the most gamey, so season liberally.
Philly Cheese Steak--seasoned with spike, undercooked served with peppers onions and a cheese sauce wrapped in homemade flat bread. What a treat! One of Jarom's favorites.
Venison Stroganoff--made exactly as my beef version and just as tasty.
Canned--pressure canned for 90 minutes, have not tasted the results.
Steak--pan seared with steak seasoning rub, undercooked of coarse.
Fajitas--best preparation award, so I'll include the recipe.
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
1 large handful fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 limes, juiced
1 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
Thinly slice deer. Place in marinade and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Saute peppers and onions. Brown meat on high heat for 2 minutes. Serve in warm tortillas with lettuce, cheese and guacamole.